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2.66 release: February 21th, 2013.

This release contains long awaited features like:

  • Rigid body physics simulation
  • Dynamic topology sculpting
  • Matcap display.

Other new features include

  • Cycles hair rendering
  • Aupport for high pixel density displays
  • Much better handling of premultiplied and straight alpha transparency
  • A vertex bevel tool
  • A mesh cache modifier
  • A new SPH particle fluid

2.66a update: March 6th, 2013.

Dynamic Topology Sculpting

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Dynamic topology is a new sculpting mode that subdivides the mesh as needed, whereas regular sculpting only affects the shape of a mesh. This makes it possible to sculpt complex shapes out of a simple mesh, rather than just adding details onto a modeled base mesh.

Dynamic Topology Sculpting

2.66_dyntopo
Dt-relnotes-00
Dynamic topology is a new sculpting mode that subdivides the mesh as needed, whereas regular sculpting only affects the shape of a mesh. This makes it possible to sculpt complex shapes out of a simple mesh, rather than just adding details onto a modeled base mesh.

UI and Usability

Support for MacBook “Retina” Displays was added, proper DPI scaling in all editors, new high-res icons and transparent tool and property regions. User Preferences and Startup File have been split up, new ways to recover sessions were added and copy & paste of objects inside the 3D View is supported now.

Cycles Render

Initial support for hair rendering was added, with triangle strips, cylinder or bezier curve primitives.Multiple importance sampling for lamps, preview rendering is available inside the properties editor, new closures and optimizations for OSL, non-progressive integrator was improved and support for packed, generated and movie textures was added.

Mesh Modeling

The Bevel tool supports bevelling individual vertices in addition to edges now, with one or more segments.

Image Transparency

The image pipeline has be refactored to handle transparency in images better and compatible to standards. There are two alpha types for images that are useful for different purposes, and we now try to automatically do the right conversions and operations.

Modifiers

New Mesh Cache modifier can apply animation from external files onto a mesh, a new UV Warp modifier can rotate, scale and translate UV maps on a mesh using objects or bones, and the Laplacian smooth modifier now supports shape enhancement.

Game Engine

The character physics type received a number of new options, profiling and debug information has been cleaned up, and simple shadow maps can now take clipped alpha transparency into account.

Particle Fluid Dynamics

A new SPH particle fluid solver was added, designed for more physically accurate results.

Collada

Collada import and export was improved for animation: shape keys are now supported, and the armature modifier has been made more stable, respecting axis orientation and scene scaling.

More Features

New features include vertex color baking, more efficient ambient occlusion baking for multires meshes, edge based UV stitching, more control over mapping texture brushes for texture painting, gradient tools for weight painting, and a translate node for the compositor.

Addons

Added MilkShape 3D format support and EDL Video Import.

In addition to the new features, over 250 bugs that existed in previous releases have been fixed..